"I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business," Trump wrote in a series of tweets on Tuesday, October 6.
As millions are burdened by the COVID-19 crisis, which has had a significant impact on the economy and many have lost their jobs, the move by the President — who was seen gasping for air after returning to the White House — has drawn a lot of criticism.
Nancy Pelosi is asking for $2.4 Trillion Dollars to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States, money that is in no way related to COVID-19. We made a very generous offer of $1.6 Trillion Dollars and, as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith. I am rejecting their...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2020
Trump's decision to pull the plug on the stimulus also came as a surprise to lawmakers, especially House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who worked on trading proposals and negotiating the package for days, hoping to bring an end to the differences.
Trump, who tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this month, blamed "crazy Nancy Pelosi and the radical left democrats" for the suspension of the relief talks, saying that they were "just playing games" when the stimulus package was desperately needed.
Pelosi slammed the President's announcement in a statement, saying that the "White House is in complete disarray."
"Today, once again, President Trump showed his true colors: putting himself first at the expense of the country, with the full complicity of the GOP Members of Congress," Pelosi said, adding, "Walking away from coronavirus talks demonstrates that President Trump is unwilling to crush the virus."
Pelosi and Mnuchin spoke over the phone at 3:30 p.m. ET, according to Drew Hammill, Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, who tweeted that Mnuchin "confirmed that the President has walked away from COVID talks."
Speaker Pelosi & Secretary Mnuchin spoke briefly at 3:30 p.m. by phone. The Secretary confirmed that the President has walked away from COVID talks. The Speaker expressed her disappointment in the President’s decision to abandon the economic & health needs of the American people.— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) October 6, 2020
"The Speaker expressed her disappointment in the President's decision to abandon the economic & health needs of the American people," Hammill said.
Pelosi went on to warn that the move by Trump to halt stimulus talks will hurt health care workers.
Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, slammed Trump's decision. He said in a statement that the President showed little care about people who are suffering.
"Make no mistake: if you are out of work, if your business is closed, if your child’s school is shut down, if you are seeing layoffs in your community, Donald Trump decided today that none of that — none of it — matters to him. There will be no help from Washington for the foreseeable future. Instead, he wants the Senate to use its time to confirm his Supreme Court Justice nominee before the election, in a mad dash to make sure that the Court takes away your health care coverage as quickly as possible," he said on Twitter.
Make no mistake: if you are out of work, if your business is closed, if your child’s school is shut down, if you are seeing layoffs in your community, Donald Trump decided today that none of that matters to him.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 6, 2020
"He never even really tried to get a deal for these Americans. Not once did he bring Republicans and Democrats together in the Oval Office, on the phone, or by Zoom, to get a relief package," he noted.
Republicans and Democrats have had their differences in details of the now-forsaken stimulus package. One of the key issues that they are having a hard time resolving is the new package's price tag.
Last week, the House of Representatives passed a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package; however, it was shunned by the Republicans for being too costly.
The House's vote came after House Democrats moved in May to pass a bill that proposed spending around $3 trillion on coronavirus-related relief measures. The proposal had generated similar opposition from the Republicans.
The U.S. has registered over 7.53 million COVID-19 cases and over 211K deaths. The President, however, has been adamant about returning to normal and reopening the country and has even blamed Biden for trying to halt his plans.